Thursday, August 16, 2018
President Berger-Sweeney elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

President Berger-Sweeney elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Trinity College President and Professor of Neuroscience Joanne Berger-Sweeney has been elected along with 213 new members to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The academy is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, and its members include some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, and artists, as well as civic, business, and philanthropic leaders. Among the honorees joining Berger-Sweeney in the 238th class of new members are actor Tom Hanks; Netflix CEO W. Reed Hastings Jr.; NASA climatologist Claire L. Parkinson; Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States; Supreme Court Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor; and pediatric neurologist Huda Y. Zoghbi.

“This class of 2018 is a testament to the academy’s ability to both uphold our 238-year commitment to honor exceptional individuals and to recognize new expertise,” said Nancy C. Andrews, the academy’s chair of the board. “John Adams, James Bowdoin, and other founders did not imagine climatology, econometrics, gene regulation, nanostructures, or Netflix. They did, however, have a vision that the academy would be dedicated to new knowledge—and these new members help us achieve that goal.”

Members were elected in 25 categories and represent 125 institutions. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony in October 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The full class of new members is available at www.amacad.org/members.

“This is truly a great honor that I share with my family and friends and with Trinity College, which I’m privileged to serve,” said Berger-Sweeney. “To be elected to the academy is an extraordinary highlight of my career in science and education.”

Since arriving as President of Trinity in July 2014, Berger-Sweeney has overseen the completion of the college’s Summit strategic bicentennial plan, the creation of the Bantam Network mentoring program for first-year students, the launch of the Campaign for Community, a campus initiative promoting inclusiveness and respect, and the expansion of Trinity’s footprint to Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford.

Before coming to Trinity, Berger-Sweeney served for four years as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. Prior to Tufts, she spent 13 years as a member of the Wellesley College faculty and as associate dean from 2004 to 2010. Berger-Sweeney received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Wellesley College and her M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. While working on her Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Berger-Sweeney did the proof of concept work on Razadyne, which went on to be the second-most-used Alzheimer’s drug in the world. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (INSERM) in Paris, France.

“This news brings great joy to me personally and tremendous pride for all of Trinity College,” said Cornelia P. Thornburgh, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees and a Trinity alumna, Class of 1980. “Those of us who have the pleasure of working closely with Joanne know what a fantastic leader and true talent she is, and we’re delighted that now the wider world will know, too.”

Berger-Sweeney joins Trinity College’s Francisco Goldman, Allan K. Smith Professor of English Language and Literature, as a member of the academy. Goldman was elected in the 2017 class of members. Philip S. Khoury, Trinity Class of 1971, vice chair of the Trinity College Board of Trustees, and associate provost and Ford International Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also is an elected member of the academy.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences convenes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. Current academy research focuses on education, the humanities, and the arts; science, engineering, and technology policy; global security and international affairs; and American institutions and the public good. The academy’s work is advanced by its elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.This

This piece is based on a press release from the Office of Communications.

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